Srinagar: Intense cold conditions returned to Kashmir Valley as the mercury plummeted in most places, the weatherman said on Monday.
The cloud cover ahead of the weekend’s snowfall had kept the night temperature around the freezing point for two consecutive nights in most parts but the respite ended as the temperature plunged across the valley.
A meteorological department official told that while the summer capital of J-K recorded a low of minus 5.2°C against minus 1.9°C on the previous night, the temperature was about 3 degrees below the normal for this time of the year.
The minimum temperatures have consistently remained far below normal this season. On 14 January, Srinagar witnessed the season’s coldest night at minus 8.4°C which was the chilliest one in more than 25 years. In 1991, Srinagar witnessed a low of minus 11.8°C while the lowest ever temperature was recorded on 31 January 1893 when the mercury had plummeted to minus 14.4 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, the mercury settled at minus 11.9°C in Pahalgam against minus 12.0°C on the previous night in the world-famous health resort and was the coldest place across the valley.
Qazigund, the gateway town of J&K, recorded a low of minus 5.5°C against 3.0°C on the previous night while Kokernag recorded a minimum of minus 8.4°C against 3.6°C on the earlier night.
Gulmarg recorded a low of minus 11.5°C against minus 11.0°C on the earlier night, the official said.
Similarly, the mercury settled at minus 3.1°C in the in Kupwara against minus 4.2°C on the previous night, the official said.
Kashmir is in the middle Chillai-Kalan, the 40-day winter period which commenced on December 21 and ends on January 31. The period is considered the harshest of the winter when the chances of snowfall are most frequent and maximum.
The cold wave, however, continues even after that in Kashmir with a 20-day-long ‘Chillai-Khurd’ (small cold) and a 10-day-long ‘Chillai-Bachha’ (baby cold).
The weatherman has forecast mainly dry weather till 31 January.(GNS)